Bonding with your dog should be a daily activity. Dogs bond with many people in their lives, so it’s never too late to form a relationship with a dog, even if you adopt a senior pet. What’s important is how you relate to your dog and what happens during the time you spend together one-on-one. Fear, pain and unpredictable actions reduce bonding, but confidence, calm, fun and regularity increase bonding.

Many activities you already do with your dog can be sources for bonding: feeding, walking, petting, and grooming. The more regular these activities are in your schedule, the more your dog will become a secure and trustworthy companion who trusts you too. Try to do at least one of the following activities with your dog every day:

The Healthy Dog Wall Calendar

  • Practice basic cues like sit, come, stay and lie down. Then move on to fun tricks.
  • Enroll in a dog obedience class. You’ll both learn to communicate better.
  • Practice fetching. Throw a ball and call your dog to bring it back. Repeat.
  • Take your dog for a car ride. If you have more than one dog, just take one on some trips. (Use a doggy seatbelt for safety!)
  • Try a game of hide and seek. Tell your dog to stay, go hide, and then tell her to come find you. Or hide a treat and help her find it.
  • Feed your dog her dinner by hand every so often.
  • Take your dog to the pet store to choose a new toy. (Be sure the store allows dogs.)
  • Take your dog to the park with a picnic. Share.
  • Tell your dog about your day.
  • Tell your dog how special she is.
  • Brush your dog every day. It feels good, and it will make her feel closer to you.

Excerpted from The 2013 Healthy Dog Wall Calendar — Text by Eve Adamson, Photography by Jamie Pflughoeft

Healthy Breeds by Amber Lotus Publishing – Text by Eve Adamson

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About Amber Lotus Publishing

We publish calendars, weekly planners, and greeting cards that nurture your heart, renew your soul, and expand your mind. Sharing the diversity of world cultures and sacred traditions as well as the inspiration and beauty of the natural world is our passion. We focus on illuminating the sacred dimensions of everyday life — healthy living, mindfulness, creativity, and earth awareness. WE PLANT TREES to offset our carbon footprint — more than ONE MILLION and growing! Each year we plant over 20 times the number of trees used to create our products

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